Monday, March 24, 2008

Margon Restaurant

There are few places left in Times Square to enjoy authentic, tasty, inexpensive food. Margon Restaurant is one of them--and it's been serving up Cuban comfort on W. 46th Street since the 1960s.

This weekend I enjoyed a plate of beef stew with beans and rice and talked with Getty Rivas who told me about how his father came from the Dominican Republic and first worked in the restaurant as a dishwasher. In 1987, after Margon had moved into its current spot, a former go-go bar, Mr. Rivas took over. The place continues to be managed and staffed completely by the Rivas family--"aunts, uncles, cousins..."--17 family members in total. They have since added their own Dominican flavors to the Cuban dishes.

The place is narrow and cafeteria style. You order your food from the counter and take a seat. Salsa plays over the radio. People chat and sometimes dance while they wait for their plates of octopus salad, plantains, roasted chicken so tender it falls off the bone. Taxi drivers and tour bus drivers come for lunch. It just feels like New York City here.


Anonymous said...

The first time I went to Margon was in 1993, and the food reminded me of my grandmother's cooking (though we're Puerto-Rican). Since then, I would go 2 or 3 times a week for lunch and order the fluffy yellow rice, red beans and tasty fall-off-the-bone roasted chicken or succulent octopus salad. The food is absolutely delicious, and I've never eaten a bad meal here. Interesting how the best food is often found tucked away at these little holes in the wall! I love it.

It's best to go early, at around noon or before, when it's less crowded and the food is still fresh and piping hot.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah, thanks once more for highlighting a great slice of New York. After seeing this post, I decided to have lunch there and I'm incredibly glad I did. Excellent chicken, rice, beans and plaintains. Definitely will be going back.

Anonymous said...

Recently had the privilege of eating at Margon. Being a Gringo from Miami, with a decent background in Cuban foods, I was eager to check this place out. We also had the privilege of meeting Mr. Getty Rivas, who treated my kids and me as if we were royalty! My kids have not been able to stop speaking about this place! We had sandwiches (Cubano and Medianoche), pot roast, sweet plantains, maduros, etc. It truly made me feel like I was back home in Miami. Thank you Mr. Rivas! My family and I will be customers for life.